español


About the Nexus Institute


About

Purdue University and the Universidad Nacional de San Agustín (UNSA) in Arequipa, Peru, are partners in a bold new cooperative technical alliance program with its flagship research, capacity and capability building initiative: the Arequipa Nexus Institute for Food, Water, Energy, and the Environment (Nexus Institute). The vision for the Nexus Institute is a vibrant research, education, and innovation ecosystem where transformative solutions to the grand challenges faced by Arequipa, Peru, and Latin America are pursued. In its initial stage, the partnership focused on co-development of targeted technical and research infrastructure to support a network of interrelated, interdisciplinary research projects. The projects addressed a variety of challenges in the areas of food security and safety, water and air quality, energy efficiency, soil health and productivity, social conflict identification and resolution models, and holistic watershed management. Ultimately, the UNSA-Purdue technical alliance includes an integrated research and commercialization program modeled on Purdue’s Discovery Park.

History

One of the key goals of Institute founders, Dr. Rohel Sanchez, former Rector of UNSA, and Dr. Horacio Barreda, the past Vice-Rector for Research at UNSA, was to transform UNSA by elevating its technical and human capacity and capability and build the strategic, long-term collaborations needed to address key environmental, agroeconomic, and social challenges that will support development of adaptive, profitable, and sustainable food-energy-water systems in the Arequipa region of Peru, Peru as a whole, and throughout Latin America. To accomplish this, they explored a variety of mechanisms with many eminent universities from around the world.

Beginning in Early 2017, there was a series of high-level meetings led by Tomas Diaz de la Rubia, former Chief Scientist and Executive Director of Purdue’s Discovery Park and UNSA’s former Rector Rohel Sanchez. These meetings established the basis for the collaboration and the mechanisms for bi-lateral engagement among faculty to share mutual needs and capabilities and develop joint collaborative projects. The first Purdue delegation to Arequipa, included representatives from across Purdue including Discovery Park, International Programs in Agriculture, the Global Engineering Program, Purdue Polytechnic Institute, the Office of Corporate and Global Partnerships, Sponsored Programs, and the Foundry. By November of that same year, the Nexus Institute programs had been developed and by March of 2018, the official agreement, launching the Arequipa Nexus Institute for Food, Water, Energy, and the Environment, was signed. To date, research projects, technical workshops, visiting scholars programs, and joint laboratories have engaged nearly 160 UNSA and Purdue faculty and staff, more than 25 postdoctoral researchers, and a growing number of UNSA graduate and undergraduate students.

The inaugural Purdue Co-Director (2018-2021) was Timothy Filley, who was a professor in the Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary sciences and Agronomy departments, and Director of Discovery Park’s Center for the Environment (C4E). Filley is currently Professor of Geography and Environmental Sustainability at University of Oklahoma. The inaugural UNSA Co-Director (2018-2021) was Henry Gustavo Polanco Cornejo, a professor and Dean of the School of Process Engineering. Henry Polanco is currently the Vice Rector for Research at UNSA.

In August 2021, Daniel Leon-Salas, an associate professor in Purdue’s Polytechnic Institute, and Lori Hoagland, a professor in the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture assumed roles as Institute Co-Directors at Purdue. Likewise, Dennis Macedo, an associate professor in the Department of Agronomy at UNSA, became the third Co-Director. The administrative home of the Institute at Purdue also moved to Purdue’s Office of Global Partnerships, in recognition of its broad impact for the University as a whole and positioning the partnership for even deeper, more comprehensive collaboration in the future.

Contact

Lori Hoagland

Lori Hoagland
Professor, Purdue University
Horticulture And Landscape Architecture
Nexus Institute Co-Director
E-mail: c4e-nexus@purdue.edu


Walter Daniel Leon-Salas

Walter Daniel Leon-Salas
Associate Professor, Purdue University
Purdue Polytechnic Institute
Nexus Institute Co-Director
E-mail: c4e-nexus@purdue.edu


Dennis Macedo

Dennis Macedo
Associate Professor, UNSA
Agronomy
Nexus Institute Co-Director
E-mail: dmacedov@unsa.edu.pe

Purdue University
UNSA